WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Summer Begins

Posted June 23, 2006

Tuesday morning at 8:26am EDT summer began. Officially it is called the Summer Solstice, which is an astronomical referring to the Earth being at the point of its orbit where the Northern Hemisphere is most tilted towards the sun. Basically, the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, it is the longest day/shortest night on the year for the Northern Hemisphere. So, for the rest of the summer, the days are getting shorter. (My wife hates it when I remind her of that)

A couple years ago, at this time, my family and I were in Seattle, WA visiting my sister. Because Seattle is so much farther north than Raleigh, 47.5”N, vs. 36”N, they have more daylight than we do here this time of the year. In fact, about an hour more daylight on the Summer Solstice. It was really interesting, the eastern sky starts to lighten before 5:00am, and the western sky stays light until almost 10:00pm. When you are on vacation trying to make the best of the daylight hours, you find you can pack a lot into 16+ hours of daylight. Again, this all has to do with the tilt of the Earth as shown below.

Of course the down side to this is that on the Winter Solstice, in December, in Seattle the Sun rises just before 8:00am, and sets before 4:30pm, and then there is all that rain . . .


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